Thursday, July 26, 2007

Gosh... how did it get to be the end of July?

So Abby comes back from camp this Saturday, and apparently things have been going less than swimmingly (har, har, har) the last few weeks. We got a note from her counselor two days ago that was -- well, let's call it tepid. Evidently (according to the camp coordinator, anyway) Abby is not overly fond of the swimming activities. Which is a bit of a problem, since they comprise approximately 80 percent of each day.

Since we have received exactly one written missive since her departure (written on the bus to camp, I suspect -- "Glad to be here, you can send packages!!!"), I have no idea how she's doing, and am rather anxious to have her back in the familial fold.

We'll know soon enough, I suppose -- and we'll celebrate her belated birthday (it happened at camp -- grrr) Saturday night. And some of our relatives may or may not attend, because approximately twenty of them will be in town, and the whole informal invitation process seems to have evolved into something like the Middle East peace talks.


Anyway, in other news, I am creeping along on the werewolf book -- if I'm feeling particularly motivated after signing off tonight, I will crack through the 80K mark. But if I decide to bag it and eat chocolate pudding instead, there's always tomorrow. Speaking of pudding, I made a great batch the other day -- a bit lumpy, since I poured the milk into the egg yolks a bit fast (it boiled over on the stove while I was cleaning up the bottle of Worcestershire I dropped on the tile floor while looking for the cornstarch, so it was all a bit hurried). Nevertheless, the whole thing was very chocolatey and yummy. Mmm. I think the pudding is going to win.

And I CAN eat pudding now, come to think of it, because I finally got my head shot done (it's the new profile pic -- I'll have a couple of others on the web site soon, too). I've been procrastinating for months, but finally had to bite the bullet, since I had to turn one in July 30. I don't know if you've ever had one done, but it was an all-day process, and when I've recovered from the trauma, maybe I'll blog about it. Right now, I'm just glad it's done, and I plan to use the thing until I'm 80. Maybe longer.

Oh, and according to Signe (isn't that a great name?), one of my editors at Ballantine, the new pub date for HOWLING is Feb. 2008, which I think is a month later than originally planned. All three books are coming out next year, and since I'm not quite done with the second, I'd better get cracking.

How are you? Oh, I posted on Cozy Chicks today, too -- am off to Alaska next week, which means lots of relatives, no Internet, and hopefully a few moose. I'll take pictures and forget to post them. I promise. ;)

Toodles... I've missed you all!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

On the home stretch!

So, despite the fact that I've been moping around this week (which has been accompanied by copious brownie and Dorito consumption, unfortunately), I've been writing like a fiend, and hit the 70K mark on my WIP. You know, the one I started back in January, then had to stop for a month or two so I could fix the previous WIP?

Anyway, this means not only that the end is in sight, but that I may actually beat my Oct. 15 deadline... perhaps by as much as two months!

And, because I'm such a daredevil, I'm now writing two books at once! I started Murder Most Maine when I was in Port Aransas on 'vacation' (I'm compulsive, what can I say), and have been working on it in the evenings once everyone else has gone to bed. I've always been afraid to try two at once -- I don't know what I thought would happen -- but it's actually rather refreshing to switch gears. Besides, I'm always reading six or seven books (a conservative estimate) at once, and rarely get them confused. Why would writing be any different?

So I'm at 70K on the second wolf book (I'm calling it Wolf Under Cover -- what do you think?) and closing in on 5K on Murder Most Maine, which I started last week. It's so nice getting some momentum going again!

Am headed to Dallas for a marathon day of meeting with interesting people (e.g. my fab agent Jessica, one of my editors, who I can't WAIT to meet in person, and some of the good folks at Ballantine -- not to mention Renee Jones of CCTV Books in Review) tomorrow. And since I'm due to be up in six and a half hours, I'm off to bed now. I promise to respond to comments when I get back... and I did post to Cozy Chicks today. Thankfully. :)

Cheers, and more soon!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The first of many leavings

Well, my daughter left for summer camp (3 whole weeks!) today for the first time ever, and I'm feeling totally bereft. Which is silly. But there it is. Thank goodness I still have Ian at home, or I'd be... on a plane to Europe, come to think of it. Hmmm.... Maybe this camp thing won't be so bad after all.

So since I was at loose ends this afternoon (i.e. feeling sorry for myself and toking up on brownies) and my page proofs have to go out via FedEx tomorrow, I finished those up, then added about 200 words to the next Gray Whale Inn mystery (which I started in Port Aransas sitting by the pool, trying not to get splashed or carried off by a giant mosquito), and now I'm sitting on the futon next to a stack of library books I don't have the heart to pick up because I'm missing my girl. I know that camp is hardly a gulag, but I also know this is the first taste of many departures to come. But I need to snap out of it. Sheesh!

Tomorrow I will hopefully have coffee with the fabulous Susan Wittig Albert, who is one of my favorite authors (both writingwise and friendwise) -- provided she can get out of her driveway, that is. She lives in the flooded part of Central Texas, which is not, incidentally, very far from where I sent my precious daughter this afternoon, and she may be stuck. I hope she gets out; not only would I love to see her, but she's got a signing at BookWoman.

But that's not all I have to look forward to. Later this week, I'll be meeting with Kendra Crispin of That Other Paper, and I'll also spend a day in Dallas, meeting with agent extraordinaire Jessica, lunching with one of my Ballantine editors (and hopefully one of the publicity directors), and then taping a show for CCTV before attending a Ballantine cocktail hour and then driving home. I am, in case you were wondering, packing caffeine.

I did get some good news today -- two friends, Jim Bast and fellow author Sylvia Dickey Smith alerted me to the fact that Murder on the Rocks is number 7 on the local bestseller list according to the Austin American-Statesman. And something must have hit somewhere, because my Amazon numbers jumped up yesterday and haven't come back down. It's mystifying, this whole business.

But I still miss my sweetie. If only I had cable and could watch the Food Network!

What are you up to?

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Happy 50th Melissa!

Can you hear me singing from here?

And my helpful hint for the day; there is no sunblock on the planet equipped to deal with the summer sun on the Texas coast.

We all look like lobsters.

Off to have hot dogs now. Cheers, and I wish I could be there to celebrate!